On October 6, 2014, The Guardian ran an interesting piece about certain digitally focused companies turning to social media to replace the use of a website.
AndSoMe, a recruitment advertising agency, relies on Facebook and Twitter solely for its digital presence (their website landing page was replaced with a holding image about two years ago). According to company co-founder Mark Rice, andSoMe’s staff spends less than an hour a day on their social media pages. The company also saved time and money by adapting their website design to account for the rapid increase of mobile usage.
So, the question is how can companies manage time and money effectively for the largest possible ROI from digital brand channels? It’s clear that one method of managing time and money is using Facebook. For example, Love Keep Create—a baby clothing and toy company—spends about an hour and a half every day on social media, and the company’s Facebook page drives a third of the website traffic. That’s not too shabby for one social media platform. Nelly Whitaker, the company’s director, is right in saying that “Small businesses can’t afford to ignore social media.” He explains the company’s success: “Our particular business and our products work well on Facebook because it’s something people really engage with. The emotional attachment is really high.”
So if small businesses can’t ignore social media, can they ignore having a website? Well, it seems contradictory for a brand looking to increase digital ROI to purposefully exclude a method of doing so. In terms of social media, saying everything that you need to say on a Facebook page is a challenge. That’s why we work hard to find and create content and execute it every single day, but this can result in a lot of headaches if it’s not executed correctly.
Although Rice believes he’s solving the mobile user dilemma, there is no solution to the problem currently. Forbes reminds us that companies that are easily available on mobile, whether through an app or a mobile-friendly website, are the ones doing it right. For example, Delta’s social media platforms and mobile app are easy to navigate and understand. It’s apparent that focusing on appealing to mobile users will feed general traffic to other platforms. If they use the app, they might “like” the Facebook page, or subscribe to emails for promotions.
We’ve learned that you can’t ignore social media, and you can’t ignore the world wide web of websites. The key is integration: you must have a successful strategy and the time to tie it all together. So what’s the tricky thing about digital? Yes, it’s easy, but there are no shortcuts to success—despite the lovely metaphor of a “click of a button.” Successful companies won’t pick one or the other: they’ll use expert advice in combining both for an optimal outcome.